By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 13: Newly appointed Minority Development Board (MDB) chairman Mominul Aowal said he is at the helm of affairs of the board to blaze a trail. He wants to change right from the definition of the phrase ‘minority development’.
Talking to The Sentinel today, Aowal, who joined as the board’s chairman on March 7, said: “I’m here to erase the misconception on the phase ‘minority development’. Over the years the connotation of this phrase in Assam has been the development of a particular minority community. In the light of ‘Sab ka saath, sab ka vikash’ I want to make it sure that minority in Assam should essentially mean at least five religious minorities living in the State. Apart from Islam, there’re religious minorities in the State like Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains. When we call Christians people belonging to some Tea Tribes and Bodos come under it. Likewise, Sikhs and Buddhists are also among the Assamese. There’re also Jains in the State. When we call Islam, we precisely mean Goriyas, Morias, Deshis, Juluhas, Maimals and others. We’ve formed the board with members from all these religious minority groups.”
Aowal said: “Development of minority people in true sense of the term will be the main aim of the board. Over the years, the Board washed it hands off its duty just by distributing some materials among the minorities. However, that’s not what development of minority actually means. The very purpose of forming the board is the development of minorities on all fronts. Now the main aim of the board will be to make the religious minority groups in the State self-dependent. We need to replace their sense of dependence on others with the sense of self-reliance. I’m here to develop the minorities on education, health, culture etc. To make that happen, we’re going to take schemes in a wider scale.”
When asked for comment that over the years the Minority Development Board has been tagged as a board full of corruption, Aowal said: “I’m going to adopt Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal’s policy of zero tolerance on against corruption. The board will be tough against corrupts. I’ve already sought the lists of beneficiaries of various minority development schemes. I’m going to ascertain if the beneficiaries whose mes figured in the lists got benefits or not. If any anomalies are detected, action will be taken in accordance with the law.”
Admund Andrew also took charge as the vice chairman of the Minority Development Board on March 7. The other members of the board are Mahiruddin Ahmed, Syed Hibjul Haque, Abdul Rakim, jnin Ahmed and Aminuddin Ali Ahmed of the BJP; Majnur Ahmed Borbhuyan, Anowar Hussain, Sahera Lashkar and Aftab Rahman of the AGP; Reo Ria rzary, Buddha Lama and Thomas Hasoda of the BPF; Asodo Labram from the Sinphoo royal family; Manjit Singh from the Assamese Sikh Santha; Rajesh Jain from the Jain community in Assam; Monirul Islam Bora from Ahom Royal Society; and Joinur Ali from the indigenous Muslims. Apart from them, there are members like the Fince Commissioner-Secretary, P&RD Commissioner-Secretary, Minority Development Department’s Commissioner-Secretary and the director of Minority Development Board as member secretary in the board.